I pray today Lord, for people who are broken, especially those who are so deeply into a mess that they cannot see a way out. I bring before you those who are so overwhelmed by their own remorse that their own failure is the only horizon they can see. Keep them from wallowing in their own dejection and misery. Lift them up and set them going again. I ask it in Christ’s name. AMEN
Lord, by your wisdom, guide me; by your love, renew me; by your light, pierce my darkness; by your grace, forgive my wandering; by your foresight into the future, fill me with hope; by your all-knowing understanding, grant me greater insight; by your steadfastness, keep my nose to the grindstone; by your watchfulness, keep me from falling. I ask this in Christ’s name. AMEN
Lord, I ask your help for all those divorced parents whose children are torn between love for their mother and father. Help the parents to see the needs and best interests of their children and to put them before their own selfish desires. Cause them to show respect to the other parent even when they cannot agree about the children. I ask it in the name of Jesus Christ. AMEN
“Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?’”
Mark 10:2 NIV
One of the features of modern western society is the breakdown of marriage and of family life. Sexuality ensures that men and women are drawn to each other, and many relate together in mutually enriching love. But the divorce courts are thronged with couples waiting to end the misery they are causing each other. It is an area of pain and anguish and no system of laws, or legalism, is sufficient to provide for the human frailty that is generated in much family life.
For the Pharisees who came to Jesus it was an opportunity to make a fool of Jesus, to trap him and catch him out. Jesus cleverly avoided the trap they were setting him. Instead he pointed to, not what was lawful or unlawful, but what God himself intended marriage to be. He quoted Genesis. “At the beginning of creation God made them male and female” (Mark 10:6 NIV). Sexuality was more than a method of perpetuating humanity. In God’s intention it was to provide companionship, encouragement, comfort, joy, support, enrichment and responsibility for both parties.
People grow when they are loved. They also grow in the process of loving someone else. In the end they become what the love they have received and given has made them. They journey down the years, in sickness and sadness, in joy and success, under pressure and in parenthood, in strain and stress, in decision-making and mood control, in weakness and weariness, in planning and dreaming – in the whole gamut of human experience. This is the enterprise onto which God sends a man and woman out the day they marry.
Lord, make the marriages of Christian couples strong and enduring.
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